Cagayan Valley Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting

cagayan valley travel guide
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Cagayan Valley is one of the regions in the Philippines that make travelers fall in love easily with the country’s beauty. 

With lots of breathtaking rolling hills and mountains and lowland in between, cool breeze of fresh air, blue seas, majestic waterfalls, evergreen forests, jaw-dropping caves, and many centuries old historical landmarks, and electrifying festivals—Cagayan Valley Region is suely a one-stop destination for travelers looking for a magnificent view and unforgettable experience.

12 Must-Visit Cagayan Valley Tourist Spots

Whether you’re looking for a chill travel experience or a thrilling adventure, Cagayan region won’t disappoint. We’ve rounded up all the best Cagayan Valley tourist attractions below: 

  1. Racuh A Payaman – A Breathtaking Destination
  2. Palaui Island – The Untouched Paradise
  3. Tayid Lighthouse – A Famous Lighthouse in Batanes
  4. Cape Engano Lighthouse – Built during Spanish colonial times
  5. Crocodile Island – The island shaped like a croc
  6. Callao Cave – A cave with a cathedral inside
  7. Tuguegarao Cathedral – Biggest Spanish-style church in the province
  8. Saint Matthias Church – For those who fancy old churches
  9. Valugan Boulder Beach – A beach full of boulder rocks
  10. Anguib Beach – Perfect for unwinding
  11. Sinago Cove – Perfect for those who want to disconnect from the busy city life
  12. Capisaan Cave – The fifth-longest cave system in the Philippines

What’s inside this blog?

From the best tourist spot in Cagayan Valley and fun things to do to the best time to visit and more, this blog will guide you to have the best travel experience.

Cagayan Valley Provinces

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The Cagayan Region is composed of five provinces: the island group of Batanes, the province of Cagayan and Isabela, and the generally mountainous provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.  

Cagayan Valley Tourist Spots

Here are the best Cagayan Valley tourist spots to add in your itinerary. 

1. Racuh A Payaman

racuh a payaman batanes

At Racuh A Payaman, also known as Marlboro Hills, there are rolling hills and knolls everywhere, surrounded by a carpet of the greenest grass you’ll ever see, that you’ll notice even the tiniest grass is swaying as Batanes wind blows. You could almost imagine being in the 1965 film Sound of Music and hear Julie Andrews sing “the hills are alive…” So, if we’re to describe Racuh A Payaman in Batanes in one word, it’d be magical. 

From this Batanes tourist spot, you can also see Mt. Iraya, Diura Beach, Tayid Lighthouse, and the Pacific Ocean. All in one place. Racuh A Payaman is definitely one of the most breathtaking tourist spots in the Philippines so don’t miss it.

Related article: 12 Batanes Tourist Spots You Can’t Say No To

2. Palaui Island

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Palaui Island cagayan valley

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Palaui Island Cagayan without a doubt is the most popular Cagayan attraction because of its glorious beauty. It boasts white sands and blue-green waters rich in marine life. What’s great about Palaui Island Cagayan is that it is untouched. No wonder it’s listed by CNN as one of the top 10 beaches in the world.

3. Tayid Lighthouse

tayid lighthouse batanes

Of all the lighthouses in Batanes, Tayid Lighthouse is the most beautiful. Unlike other lighthouses, Tayid has a hexagonal tower deck. Once up there, you’ll get to see a great view of the Diura Fishing Village, Mt. Iraya, and the Pacific Ocean. Originally built to guide the local fishermen, Tayid Lighthouse now doubles as a popular Batanes tourist spot. 

4. Cape Engano Lighthouse

Cape Engano Lighthouse cagayan valley

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Cape Engaño Lighthouse is located on topmost of a summit mountain in the stunning island of Palaui Cagayan Luzon. Built in 1892 during the Spanish Colonial era, the lighthouse is considered an admired National Traditional Treasure. Aside from being a tourist spot, it also worked as a guide for boats and ships. Upon reaching the top of Cape Engano Lighthouse, the remarkable outlook of Hermanas Islands, Babuyan Island, and the Pacific Ocean will surprise you.

5. Crocodile Island

Crocodile Island cagayan valley

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Also known as Manidad Island, Crocodile Island is a great place to unwind in Cagayan Valley Region 2. It was named such because of its shape similar to a crocodile. This Sta Ana Cagayan Valley island is a rock formation that vanishes during high tide and there are no trees. 

6. Callao Cave

callao cave cagayan valley 3

Photo source: (Left) Wikimedia Commons | (Right) Wikimedia Commons

Callao Cave in Tuguegarao City Cagayan Valley is one of the most popular and beautiful attractions because of its unique features like the seven-chambered cave with stunning limestone rock formations reminiscent of a cathedral dome. One of the chambers in this Tuguegarao tourist spot contains a stone altar illuminated by a natural skylight. There’s also the cave where millions of bats dwell, a cave that hosts numerous red-billed hornbills, and a cave that houses the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat.

7. Tuguegarao Cathedral

Tuguegarao Cathedral cagayan valley

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Tuguegarao Cathedral, also known as St. Peter’s Cathedral is one of the historical Cagayan Valley destinations. It seats the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao City Cagayan Valley and is considered the biggest Spanish-style church in the province. This Tuguegarao tourist spot’s wide compound is a good spot for reflection or meditation.

8. Saint Matthias Church

Saint Matthias Church cagayan valley

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Located in Isabela, Saint Matthias Church is a great destination to visit if you fancy old churches. Its walls are made entirely of bricks, its facade is picture-perfect and once you’re inside Saint Matthias Church, you’ll feel like you are traveling back to the Spanish colonial time. This tourist spot in Cagayan Valley is definitely a must visit.

9. Valugan Boulder Beach

valugan boulder beach batanes

It is believed that the boulders were washed ashore during a volcanic eruption on the island centuries ago. Once you get there, you’ll notice that there are a lot of rock formations made out of the boulders on the beach. You, too, can make one! But what really makes Valugan Boulder Beach a beautiful destination is that you can hear the music of its rolling stones as they are pushed by endless waves. The rhythm matches the strong winds that blow.

10. Anguib Beach

Another tourist attraction in Cagayan Valley you shouldn’t miss is the Anguib Beach in Sta. Ana. It features cream-colored sands with stunning blue waters perfect for swimming. Anguib Beach will let you forget all about your stress brought by the busy city life. 

11. Sinago Cove

When you want to make the most of your Cagayan trip, make sure to plot Sinago Cove at your Sta Ana Cagayan map. Sinago Cove faces the Pacific Ocean and the view of the cove is quite similar to Thailand’s James Bond Island and Vietnam’s Halong Bay. The place has less to no signal so it’s really perfect if you want to disconnect from the city life for a while.

12. Capisaan Cave

Capisaan Cave is the fifth-longest cave system in the Philippines extending to two barangays in Nueva Vizcaya namely Capisaan and Alayan.

Here you can find a 4.2 km underground river and chambers and tunnels where visitors can see stalagmites, stalactites, speleothems, and other rock formations. Capisaan Cave has small holes and steep areas you need a lot of courage and patience to discover it all the way through.

Things to do in Cagayan Valley Region

Whether you’re exploring Pamplona Cagayan Valley or the Tuguegarao postal code, you will never run out of things to do in Cagayan Valley municipalities.

1. Hiking

mt. iraya batanes cagayan valley

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Cagayan Valley Region 2 is abundant in hills and mountains that are high enough to see a sea of clouds. With this, the region surely is a great spot for hiking. Some of the best mountains to hike in Cagayan Valley Philippines are Mt. Iraya, Mt. Guiwan, and Mt. Cagua among others.

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2. Swimming

morong beach batanes

The province of Cagayan Valley has a lot of stunning beaches and islands perfect for those who love the sun, sand, and sea. From the white sand Morong Beach in Batanes, Anguib Beach in Santa Ana to Gonzaga Beach, Cagayan could be the next summer destination.

3. Visiting lighthouses

basco lighthouse batanes

One cool thing you’ll find in Cagayan Valley provinces is various lighthouses. Just in Batanes, there are lots of lighthouses that don’t just serve as guides to fishermen but also tourist spots. Some of the most famous are the Basco Lighthouse, Tayid Lighthouse, Sabtang Lighthouse, and Cape Engano Lighthouse.

4. Appreciating nature’s beauty

vayang rolling hills batanes

Nature-lovers will surely love Cagayan Valley Region 2 because of its breathtaking mountains and rolling hills. Here you’ll be mesmerized by the wonders of nature making you think whether you’re still in the Philippines or not. 

5. Attending festivals

Photo credits to The Girl Behind the Pen

If you want to discover the culture of Cagayan Valley or party with the population of Cagayan Valley, this province never disappoints, providing all sorts of fun especially through their amazing festivals. Among the ones you must experience are the Batanes Day in Batanes, Pavvurulun Afi Festival in Tuguegarao, and Bambanti Festival and Baka Festival in Isabela.

6. Caving 

Callao Cave cagayan valley 2

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Cagayan Valley destinations aren’t just about hills and mountains but the province is also famous for their stunning caves. If you love adventure, go spelunking at Callao Cave and Capisaan Cave.

7. Food tripping

What better way to grasp the culture of Cagayan Valley than living like a local? Start with the products of Cagayan Valley that will make your tummy satisfied. Try the Pancit Batil Patung in Tuguegarao City, the Chicharabao (carabao chicharon), Carabao Milk Candy, and Luñis in Batanes.

Best time to Visit Cagayan Valley

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For Batanes, the best time to visit the province is during the dry season which is from March to May. But if you want to attend their festival, go there in June. 

For Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino, it’s also great to visit during summer.  While for Tuguegarao City, temperatures feel hot for most of the year with a fair chance of precipitation since it’s the warmest place in the country. If you don’t want to experience its hottest, avoid traveling to Tuguegarao zip code in  May, June, and July.

Cagayan Valley Region Weather

Cagayan Region is composed of five provinces with different topographies, hence different weathers. Of all the Cagayan Valley provinces, Batanes has the coolest weather since it’s located at the northernmost of the Philippines. While for others, it’s usually warm all year round except for typhoon season in the latter part of the year.

Map of Cagayan Valley Region 2

The Cagayan Valley Region lies within the northeastern tip of the Philippines. Check out this map of Cagayan Valley Region 2 to be guided.

 

 

How to Get there

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From Manila to Cagayan Valley and Cagayan Valley to Manila, you can take a plane or bus depending on your destination. Available flights from Manila are bound for Isabela, Tuguegarao and Batanes. Travel time is just one hour. Upon reaching the airport, you can then ride a van to reach the  Cagayan Valley municipalities.

To reach other Cagayan points of interest, you can take a bus from Pasay, Cubao, or Manila going to Isabela, Cagayan, or Tuguegarao. Travel time is around 8 to 10 hours depending on your destination. 

Tips When traveling to Cagayan Valley

  1. The weather in the region is usually hot so make sure to wear comfortable clothes.
  2. Wear sunscreen.
  3. Bring sun and rain protection such as a folding umbrella or hooded jacket.
  4. If traveling on mountains, make sure to follow your guide to avoid getting lost or any unwanted situation.
  5. Engage with locals. The Cagayan locals are very friendly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cagayan Valley

Q: What is Cagayan known for?

A: Cagayan region is known for its breathtaking rolling hills, high mountains, great beaches, and amazing caves.

Q: Why is it called Cagayan Valley?

A: Cagayan Valley description is river. Its name was derived from the Ilocano word “karayan” or river referring to the Rio Grande de Cagayan. The early Spanish settlers also called it “Rio Ibanag”.

Q: What is Tuguegarao known for?

A: Tuguegarao is known for its hot climate. In fact, it’s considered as the warmest city in the Philippines. 

Q: Where to go in Cagayan Valley?

A: Whether you’re looking for a chill travel experience or a thrilling adventure, Cagayan region won’t disappoint. We’ve rounded up all the best tourist attractions below: 

  • Racuh A Payaman
  • Palaui Island
  • Tayid Lighthouse
  • Cape Engano Lighthouse
  • Crocodile Island
  • Callao Cave
  • Tuguegarao Cathedral
  • Saint Matthias Church
  • Valugan Boulder Beach
  • Anguib Beach
  • Sinago Cove
  • Capisaan Cave

Q: What to do in Cagayan?

A: Here are some of the most fun activities to try in Cagayan:

  1. Hiking
  2. Swimming
  3. Hiking
  4. Caving
  5. Food tripping
  6. Attending festivals
  7. Visiting lighthouses

Q: Is Tuguegarao open for tourists?

A: As of writing, Tuguegarao has required a travel pass and a health certificate from those entering the city.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

For more Philippine travel updates, read this blog: Latest Philippines Tourism News: PH Includes Austria in Travel Ban Due to Threat of New COVID-19 Variant

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